Regional Cancer Center Thiruvanathapuram – A quality centre for cancer care and oncology research


Regional Cancer Center is a government-sponsored institution in Kerala. It is located in the Trivandrum Medical College premises. It provides quality health care services in the oncology specialty to all strata of the society at affordable cost. It also offers world-class training in the oncology specialty to different kinds of people to generate awareness about the disease.

Introduction


The Regional Cancer Center (RCC) is a reputed institution for cancer care and oncology research. This cancer care center was established jointly by the Government of Kerala and the Government of India in 1981 to provide quality treatment for the cancer afflicted patients in the region. The Thiruvananthapuram-located center is located in the premises of the Trivandrum Medical College. Initially, it was established as an extension of the radiation therapy department of the medical college. The center is mandated to provide ternary care for the cancer patients in the state, and it has all the infrastructure facilities to efficiently manage the cancer treatment. For the benefit of cancer patients, with the help of NGOs, the authorities are running palliative care services also from its premises.

History


At the time of its establishment in 1981, it was one amongst the six centers established in the country. Currently, there are about 26 of them running in different parts of the country. The center was established initially by transferring the departments pertaining to cancer from medical college to RCC. This step was undertaken by the Government of Kerala to bring the specialty of oncology under one roof to provide quality health care to cancer patients. Subsequently to fund the cancer care system, the state government and the central government decided to jointly sponsor it. In recognition of its services, the state government has designated it as the Science and Technology Center in the healthcare sector of the state. As the institution began to grow, a community oncology division was started in the RCC premises. This was the first initiative in the state in 1985.

Departments


  1. Cytopathology: This department offers specialist and conventional investigations to diagnose the occurrence of cancer in patients.

  2. Imageology and Nuclear Medicine: The patients can avail the services of these departments to correctly ascertain the stage of progression of the disease.

  3. Pain management and Palliative care: This division provides much needed moral and material support for the patients with advanced stage of disease. This division works jointly with reputed NGOs to offer palliative care.

  4. Computer and Networking: The center has a state-of-the-art computer technology to store the digitized records of various departments. For this purpose, it runs a database server that connects all the important departments in an intranet environment. All these services are provided in a UNIX environment to ensure the data safety. The cancer care center is also connected to the outside world through an internet connection.

  5. Cancer research: There is a research center attached to the main hospital. This center is dedicated to the development of new techniques to efficiently manage the system of cancer care. Some of these techniques have been implemented at the hospital premises to immediately get the result.

Philanthropy


Over the years, the center has evolved policies and methodologies to take the quality cancer care to the masses, especially to those who are underprivileged in the society. As part of one such policy, the center is freely offering free chemotherapy and diagnostic facilities to the underprivileged people. Even the people from the middle-income group are helped by the center. For the benefit of these people, the center provides chemotherapy treatment and diagnostic facilities at subsidized rate. According to the data available with the center, about 60% of the patients from underprivileged group get free treatment and another 29% of the people from the middle-income group get the same treatment at subsidized rates. During the last five years, the center has dispensed Rs. 80 lakhs worth of medicines to the people from low income group.

Academics


RCC is recognized as a training center for cancer education and research by both national and international organizations. As a training center for postgraduate courses, it is affiliated with the National Board of Education. For the benefit of medical students, the center conducts postgraduate courses on surgical oncology and medical oncology specialties. Recently, it has also started postgraduate courses on radiotherapy and radio diagnosis fields. According to one estimate available with the center, about 400 students pass out annually after completing various courses in various medical and paramedical fields. In recognition of these academic activities, the center has been recognized by international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), etc.

Conclusion


Regional Cancer Center is a reputed medical center in the capital city of Kerala. This institute is jointly sponsored by both the state and central governments. The cancer center has over years developed technologies, policies and methodologies to treat the patients at affordable costs. In case of low income groups, both the treatment and diagnostic services are offered free of costs. The center has a palliative care division that runs different services that aim at efficiently managing the pain of the patients. For this purpose, it takes the help of reputed NGOs. The center also provides both basic and advanced training in cancer care services. The aim of this training is to spread the awareness about the cancer amongst the people of the society.


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